Posted by: Tracy Barsamian Ventola | June 29, 2014

Further Reading on the Mother Wound

will i ever be good enough

After digesting Bethany Webster’s Womb of Light Website about the mother wound, I dove into the literature on the mother wound.  I basically just followed the  Resource List on the Womb of Light Website.  At first, I wanted to read everything that I could get my hands on!  But, frankly, I’m done now.  It feels like many of the books have a very similar message.  The authors are women with mother wounds who grew up to become therapists with the intention of healing their own mother wounds as well as their clients’.

I’ve read the following three books from the Womb of Light recommended reading:

1.  Will I Ever Be Good Enough?  Healing the daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride.  I think that I liked this book the best of all three.  It is divided into three parts:  Part 1:  Recognizing the Problem, Part 2:  How Narcissitic Mothering Affects Your Entire Life, and Part 3:  Ending the Legacy.  This book doesn’t use the term mother wound, but I would say that she uses the term Narcissistic Mother interchangeably with wounded mother.  By Narcicist she means a mother that sees her daughter as an extension of herself, as opposed to a separate human being.  I really liked the suggested reading and movie source list the author included.

2.  Mothers Who Can’t Love  A Healing Guide for Daughters by Susan Forward.  This book actually uses the term Mother Wound.  An interesting aspect of this book is that in part 1:  Identifying the Mother Wound, she lays out the five main kinds of mothers (who are wounded).  Those include:

i.  The Severaly Narcissitc Mother “But what about me?”

ii.  The Overly Enmeshed Mother “You are my whole life”

iii.  The Control Freak Mother “Because I said so”

iv.  Mothers Who Need Mothering “I depend on you to take care of everything”

v.  Mothers Who Neglect, Betray, and Batter “You’re always causing Trouble”

3.  Mean Mothers by Peg Streep.  I loved this title, so I thought I’d love the book, but it was very, very heady.  But it still had some very interesting information.  The sections of this book include:  1.  The Myth of Mother Love, 2. My Mother and Her Mother Before Her:  Patterns Old and New, 3. In the House of the Father, 4.  Siblings and Other Rivalries, 5. Stilling the Voice of the Mother Within, Turning the Wheel:  Mothering the Next Generation.

Overall, I would say that the books help you to feel in good company with other women.  And perhaps they are helpful when your mother is still alive, in figuring out how to create appropriate and healthy boundaries?  But the plans/paths to healing that these authors lay out are all pretty heady.  All three authors do admit that you cannot just “talk” about (or retell the story of) your mother wound, you have to “feel” the experience again from the perspective of an adult in order to release the old traumas.  But, honestly, I’m not convinced that this would be possible with only conventional talk therapy and journaling.  I feel quite strongly that this work is only possible (or at the very least made much easier) with the support of energy healing.  For me, the energy work that has been the most beneficial is a type of Energy Kinesiology called Somatic Emotional Acupressure (SEA).  I’ll post in more detail about SEA this week, but in the meantime, you can get a basic overview of SEA in the Practitioners We LOVE!:  Joy DelGiudice post.  Stay tuned!!

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